Dining in a “museum” in the neighbourhood of the Ancient Greek Gods

Dining in a “museum” in the neighbourhood of the Ancient Greek Gods

Dine in one of the oldest tavernas in Athens that has served influential guests since 1932. The rich history and heritage of this taverna have earned it the status of a “museum”.

The Neighbourhood of the Ancient Greek Gods

The Athenian neighbourhood of the Ancient Greek Gods, according to Greek Mythology, is Plaka; the famous area that lies beneath the Acropolis, and is the city’s most historic and traditional beating heart. Year-round, Plaka draws lively crowds of visitors who come to walk in the legendary footsteps of both the immortals and the great mortals (like Socrates and Pericles) in this awesome neighbourhood of the Ancient Greek Gods. There really is no other place on earth like it!

Platanos taverna

In a short narrow road, at 4 Diogenous Street, you will find the landmark taverna Platanos (Platanos means plane tree in Greek). It’s here, in this serene pocket of Plaka, beneath a shady plane tree (of course), that your experience of traditional Greek dining in a “museum” in the neighbourhood of the Ancient Greek Gods will begin! I have been visiting Platanos since I was a little kid and I have always loved it. Clearly, I’m not alone as it’s one of the oldest tavernas in Athens, and has been serving up classic and delicious Greek dishes since 1932!

The rich history and arty heritage of Platanos

Sure, that’s a long time … but it’s not the only reason why I describe this wonderful cultural experience as dining in a “museum”. It’s also about the rich history and arty heritage of this iconic Plaka restaurant. The building used to be a gallery- and art house of two major Greek painters, namely Pericles Vyzantios and Pavlos Kalligas, as well as the great Greek sculptor Fokionas Rok, between 1922 until 1928. Inside the taverna, you will see framed pictures of the most important personalities of Greek contemporary history, such as politicians, artists, journalists, authors and actors hanging on its historic walls.

Greek King Otto's anti – smoking law

Among the many striking wall exhibits, look out for Greek King Otto’s anti – smoking law declaration. Dated 31st of July 1856, it’s said to be the world’s first anti-smoking law! The wall of the loft is covered in names and pictures of all those high-profile personalities who have eaten at Platanos since 1932, so you could say you are dining out on history!

Dining Experience

The outdoor area operates all year round , even during winter (weather permitting), so Platanos always has a traditional, relaxed and cosy vibe, no matter when you visit. You’ll feel like you are dining in the backyard of a good friend’s house (while the food tastes as if their mother had just cooked it).

Authentic Greek Cuisine

Platanos is known for its traditional Greek meals like stuffed tomatoes, moussaka, various kinds of pies (every day is different, the so called “pie of the day”), Greek salad, oven-cooked lamb, grilled meat and too many other Greek classics to mention here. I adore its dolmades, which are truly delicious. For dessert, you can choose between fruits and spoon sweets. If you do decide to dine at Platanos, you can’t go wrong with the traditional favourites like moussaka, dolmades, or stuffed tomatoes.

An unmissable experience while visiting Athens

Dining in Platanos, the “museum “under the Ancient Greek Gods neighbourhood of Plaka, combines so many of the things that I love most about Athens. You’ll get to sample delicious, genuine Greek cuisine (at great value prices) in a “friend’s backyard”, in one of the Greek capital’s most beautiful and historic places, where you’ll feel the rich nostalgia of old Athens in the air around you, along with the thrill of knowing that you’re sitting in the very same spot where some of the city’s most important personalities have also dined down the decades.

I consider Platanos as one of my “must-see” recommendations, especially for those of you who are visiting Athens for the first time and would like to have a traditional and authentic local dining experience.